Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a dental condition that affects millions of people. A lack of proper dental care causes this disease and involves the tissues that support and protect the teeth. Allen Dental Center is a trusted dental office that offers comprehensive periodontal disease treatment in Allen, TX.
Gum disease is progressive and must be treated with professional dental care. If not, it can lead to serious health concerns, including tooth loss, bone loss, and infections that can spread to other parts of your body. Our dental team can diagnose your condition and offer the most effective treatment.
What Is Periodontal Disease and What Causes It?
Periodontal disease is a dental condition that primarily affects the gum tissues
when proper oral hygiene practices are not followed. A substance called plaque accumulates in our mouth daily. This sticky film is filled with bacteria and can cause harm to oral health. Plaque left in the mouth can also accumulate on the teeth and harden into tartar.
When daily brushing habits are not followed, the plaque and tartar will attack the gums, causing inflammation and infection. If not addressed right away, it will progress and eventually cause harm to the periodontal ligament and underlying bone.
The main factors that lead to periodontal disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene habits such as inadequate brushing and flossing which will allow plaque to accumulate.
- Smoking and using tobacco products reduces blood flow to the gums, making it harder for the body to heal any type of periodontal infection.
- Some patients are genetically predisposed to gum disease, making it easier for them to develop this dental condition.
- There are several diseases, such diabetes and autoimmune disorders, which can increase your risk of gum disease.
- Some types of medication, such as antihypertensives and anticonvulsants, can contribute to gum tissue changes.
- Women who are pregnant, going through menopause, or menstruating are more susceptible to gum tissue inflammation due to hormonal changes.
- A diet lacking proper nutrients can weaken your immune system and make it harder for the body to fight infections that may develop in the gums.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is a progressive disease. Without treatment, it will progress through several stages and cause serious harm to your oral health. The stages of periodontal disease include:
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. Most people do not know they have it because the symptoms may be minor. Some signs of gingivitis include redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums while you brush or floss. During this stage, the infection is in the gum tissues and can be easily treated by your dentist.
Without proper treatment, gingivitis will progress into early periodontitis. Here, pockets form between the teeth and gums. These pockets provide a place for bacteria to thrive and multiply. This leads to further inflammation and infection. The beginning stages of bone loss may occur at this time.
Once the bacteria in the pockets between the teeth and gums multiply, the bacterial pockets become deeper. The infection will eat away at your gums causing gum recession, tooth sensitivity, and teeth shifting may be noticeable. You will also have increased bone loss.
In this advanced stage of gum disease, deep pockets are very noticeable, and significant bone loss has occurred. Teeth are very loose, and the patient is at high risk of tooth loss. Treatment will involve advanced procedures, including surgery and grafting. However, most damage is permanent.
Signs of Gum Disease
It is important to notice the signs of gum disease. Early treatment is your best chance at avoiding permanent, significant damage. Common signs of this dental condition include:
- Inflamed gums or red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods
- Persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis, due to harmful bacteria in the mouth
- Gums that pull away from the teeth, making teeth appear longer
- Increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks
- The presence of pus between the teeth and gums
- Teeth that feel loose or shift in position
- Changes in the way teeth fit together when biting or chewing
- Changes in the way your dentures fit
Periodontal Disease Treatment in Allen, TX
To determine the treatment you need, your dentist will first need to see what stage of gum disease you suffer from. The goal is to eliminate the infection, reduce the side effects, and preserve as much of your natural teeth and gum tissues as possible.
Scaling and Root Planing
A non-surgical treatment for gum disease is scaling and root planing. This is an intensive, deep cleaning that removes accumulated deposits of plaque and tartar from below the gumline. Then, our dentist will smooth out the surface of the roots to prevent further bacterial infections. This procedure is necessary to eliminate the bacteria before it causes serious damage, such as tooth loss or severe gum recession.
Sometimes, patients require antibiotics to help control bacterial infections. The dentist will prescribe this as an oral pill, topical gel, or a mouth rinse. This is often used in conjunction with scaling and root planing. We can place antibiotics in the gum pockets to prevent reinfection.
Severe cases of gum disease may require surgery. Surgical intervention becomes necessary with advanced gum disease. Diseased tissue may need to be cut away to help control the disease.
In most cases of moderate and advanced periodontitis, grafting procedures are necessary. Patients in this stage of gum disease suffer from bone loss and gum recession. Common grafting procedures include gum grafts and bone grafts. They help prevent further loss, stabilize the patient’s oral health, and improve the smile’s appearance.
Restore Your Gum Health
Call Allen Dental Center for gum disease treatment at 972.640.7564. You can also schedule a dental consultation with us online. Please let us know if you have questions about gum disease.